Author: Stephanie

The CPUC isn’t a utility

The CPUC isn’t a utility

Tear out your lawn, get more free cash. LADWP ups rebates for customers who fix up their yards.

“We’ve got a lot of lawns in our service area,” said Linda Kornes, LADWP’s public information officer, last week. “It’s just a number of times that we see it.”

Kornes was referring to free cash.

LADWP employees have already been handing out a few bucks to homeowners and businesses across Sonoma County, with several receiving money in the thousands.

While it sounds good in theory, some of the rebates could be a little misleading if you don’t factor the fact that most homeowners and businesses have a couple of other needs before they’re ready to spend their cash.

“If you’re looking for a major rebate for a new lawn or something else, it’s hard to tell whether you’re getting a rebate or a tax credit because the way the state calculates those things is slightly different,” said Kevin Wollert, professor of state and local public affairs at UC Berkeley.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was designed to be a simple, transparent and fair way for all customers to make informed decisions about rates. A number of public entities provide utilities to consumers.

The CPUC doesn’t make any money. Instead, it gets paid by the state and the utilities that it regulates. In essence, the CPUC was born of a simple idea: If you had a utility that didn’t make money, you’d pass on all its costs to the consumers.

You’re already paying for your utility, so why not pay someone else to pay for it?

Kornes pointed out that the rebates only apply to new construction and not to the installation of an existing system. LADWP also doesn’t pay for power used during repairs.

Kornes said the rebates are typically paid out within 30 days. The LADWP typically charges around $30 to $50 per square foot for any new building and any repairs. If the repair work is necessary, the LADWP may also offer free installation.

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